A patch of gravel washed away during the storms of 2011 will be replaced with a boat launch and dock.
Work is underway on the construction of a $40,000 boat launch just east of Erie Canal Lock 10 in Cranesville, said Shane Mahar, a state Canal Corp. spokesman.
The launch, with a 15-foot-wide concrete ramp into the canal and Mohawk River and a 38-foot-long aluminum dock, will give motorboats and other vessels access to the waterway.
In addition to improving public access, the launch will also give the Canal Corp. better access when the moveable dam structure is raised or lowered, Mahar said.
Anytime a canal dam is raised or lowered, whether in anticipation of a flood or at the beginning and end of the boating season, a boat with safety personnel is stationed downstream in case an accident occurs, he said.
“It’s great for the public, but it’s also great for us because it’s now going to allow us an easier ability to get a boat with a safety crew in the water while we’re operating the moveable dams,” he said.
The new launch is part of an ongoing $5.1 million restoration of the lock area, which was heavily damaged by Tropical Storms Lee and Irene in 2011. The patch of gravel, which only gave access to small boats such as kayaks, was washed away with those storms.
James H. Maloy Inc., an Albany construction company, was contracted to complete the work, which also includes strengthening the moveable dam so it can be raised out of the water during floods.
“As part of that contract to restore that property, we decided to install new amenities including this boat launch,” Mahar said.
Due to the construction, the water level between Lock 9 in Rotterdam and Lock 10 in Cranesville will be lowered one foot through Aug. 1, according to a Canal Corp. notice to mariners.
The launch will be free to the public, but boaters who want to travel through any of the canal’s locks will need to purchase two-day, 10-day or seasonal passes.
The launch is scheduled to be open in time for the spring boating season.